5 different smartwatches for 5 types of runners

5 different smartwatches for 5 types of runners

In the early years that smartwatches entered the market, the more advanced functions of these tools were still out of reach for the general public. An exponentially growing number of users who came to purchase for fashion or necessity had to get used to the infinite possibilities that small wrist devices contained. What changed things, as in many other areas, was the pandemic. The use of advanced smartwatch functions has increased by 120% (according to Gfk) in the last two years. These are mainly applications such as the calculation of the percentage of oxygen in the blood (+ 101% from 2020 to 2021), the VO2 Max, the ECG electrocardiogram (+ 49%, from 2020 to 2021) and various others: this has allowed users to find out how much wrist devices can prove to be precious, for example for the count of steps at the end of the day or the quality of sleep (+ 39%, from 2020 to 2021), metrics that have now become common. The most exploited functions, however, are those relating to running and training.

This is an overall maturation of the digital culture of wearable users that allows them to make the most of market diversification. Precisely for this reason we have decided to try a roundup of different devices, each designed for a specific application and a type of public, taking into consideration the sporting activity, now practiced by all, which had been the spring that had kicked off the use of these tools: running.

The demanding More responsive interface and improved autonomy for the new Polar smartwatch

Pacer Pro (299.90 euros) is the new Polar running watch characterized by a more accessible cost than previous models and improved performance especially in terms of autonomy (35 hours of activity with GPS active) and speed of the processor (twice as efficient as the Vantage M2). Compared to the slow and complex interface of Polar devices, with this model the Finnish company has managed to definitely put a piece of it, also with regard to synchronization with the app (the need to press a button remains to start the operation) and greater efficiency and convenience of recharging (new smaller adapter).

The Mip display in Gorilla Glass 3.0 has a thickness of 1.1 mm, a diagonal of 1.2 inches and excellent visibility, the backlight is now adequate.

Thanks to the Shift adapter it is possible to use any standard 20 mm bracelet to customize the Pacer Pro, the sensor for detecting the heartbeat is clearly visible in the photo

Lovers of the brand and the most impaled runners will surely appreciate this model for its reliability of the tracking of the route, of the cardio and of the altitude profile, in addition to the navigation and "return home" possibilities, useful for example in trail routes, without forgetting the calculation of power in running and the running test. For the others, despite the excellent advanced characteristics, the risk could be that of not fully understanding its potential due to an initial difficulty in approach.

We particularly appreciated the lightness (41 grams including the strap) and the ergonomics of the new Polar. Although specific for running, the Pacer Pro performs its task very well in other areas as well, for example with the bike, functional training, swimming or triathlon.

€ 299.90 - buy on amazon Wired: data reliability

Tired: synchronization

Rating: 9

Youth The possibilities for customizing the interface of the Watch S1 Active are endless

Watch S1 Active (199.99 euros) from Xiaomi is based on a large and bright amoled display from 1.43 inches at 326 ppi for a weight of 36 grams and dimensions of 46.5 x 47.3 x 11 mm. There are so many possibilities for customizing the interface (200 dials) that perhaps appears a bit chaotic, the sports activities supported are almost infinite: 117 in all. As for running and outdoor walking, the device is able to automatically start tracking after recognizing the start of the session. Watch S1 Active measures oxygen saturation, heart rate, sleep quality, stress levels and blood oxygen saturation (SpO2), connects to smartphone via bluetooth, uses NFC technology for payments, is equipped with Alexa voice assistant and a decent autonomy.

The Xiaomi device has an affordable price, but a more than decent technical equipment

For its many potentialities, the possibilities of customization, the attractive design (in black, white and blue versions) and the low price, this model seems suitable for those who have just started running, but want to monitor training in a simple and reliable way, especially for a younger and more savvy audience technically.

199.99 € - buy on mi store 169.90 - buy on amazon Wired: functionality

Tired: software interface

Rating: 7.5

The cool type Oversized and anime look from classic Garmin device for 'eclectic Instinct 2 Camo

In the Italian collective imagination Garmin is the brand of running watches to the point that the name is often used to indicate this type of product. However, the American company has some surprises in store for us in this area as well. Instinct 2 Camo (399.99 euros) has the appeal of the classic fashion oversize watch with a 45 mm case and with a look that recalls that of the famous Japanese brand in this area, however it has a hyper resistant soul (military standard 810 , thermal resistance, shock resistance and up to 100 meters in water) and packs the classic training monitoring functions you have come to expect from Garmin models.

Instinct 2 Camo is not among the lightest (51 grams ) smartwatch in circulation, but certainly not to be chosen for this reason. The ergonomics are good, the keys are comfortable even with sweaty hands or during physical activity, the display (176x176 pixels) with two windows is not too intuitive and easy to read, but the detection of the track and the speed of the training, as well as cardio are accurate. The battery has an incredible duration, over 25 days even with different training sessions, it impressed us to say the least. It does not have the appeal of the classic running smartwatch, for better or for worse, it certainly has an unconventional aesthetic and can make a good impression in any area, but it can be a little more complicated during use, especially for the less experienced and even while reading smart notifications.

399 € - buy on garmin 285.15 - buy on amazon Wired: aesthetics and autonomy

Tired: interface

Rating: 7.5

The perfectionist A classic and elegant design for the Watch GT 3 Pro

The Huawei smartwatch arrived at the third version amazes thanks to the attention to detail and the captivating aesthetics dedicated to those who love classic design not forgetting the professional health monitoring possibilities (sleep, water, medication management and menstrual cycle monitoring). As far as running is concerned, Watch GT 3 Pro (starting from € 369.90) offers a series of personalized training plans based on the performance to be achieved, but also on your own pace, heart rate and desired distance. The collected data is also synchronized and shared with those of the most famous training apps (for example Runtastic and Komoot) and with the many compatible devices.

"Both for the top and for the amateur runner, the collection of training data is fundamental ", explains the Olympic champion Mo Farah," thanks to tools with the Watch GT 3, these allow targeted training, but above all planning of exits, even having a coach on the wrist is crucial " .

The model is available in titanium and ceramic versions. We tested the Titanium Edition based on a 1.43-inch high-definition (466 x 466 pixel) color amoled screen. Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro compared to the previous ones boasts updated hardware and software capabilities and new sports modes. The model has five satellite systems (gps, Beidou, Glonass, Galileo and Qzss) and supports the En13319 standard regarding water resistance up to 30 meters deep with specific functions for those who intend to train their freediving. We liked the feeling during use in general, but also the fast battery charging and its duration, over a week with daily training sessions. The initial association with smartphones from other brands, in particular iPhone, is still a bit complicated.

369.90 € - buy on amazon from 369.90 € - buy on huawei Wired: design

Tired: music management

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